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True statesmanship is the art of changing a nation from what it is into what it ought to be.
- William R. Alger
Let us leave the cure of public evils to those quacks, the statesmen.
- Honore de Balzac
For as two cheats, that play one game,
Are both defeated of their aim;
So those who play a game of state,
And only cavil in debate,
Altho' there's nothing lost nor won,
The public bus'ness is undone,
Which still the longer 'tis in doing,
Becomes the surer way to ruin.
- Samuel Butler (1)
It is curious that we pay statesmen for what they say, not for what they do; and judge of them from what they do, not from what they say. Hence they have one code of maxims for profession and another for practice, and make up their consciences as the Neapolitans do their beds, with one set of furniture for show and another for use.
- Charles Caleb Colton
Forbear, you things
That stand upon the pinnacles of state,
To boast your slippery height! when you do fall,
You dash yourselves in pieces, ne'er to rise:
And he that lends you pity, is not wise.
- Ben Jonson
You have not, as good patriots should do, studied
The public good, but your particular ends:
Factious among yourselves; preferring such
To offices and honors, as ne'er read
The elements of saving policy;
But deeply skill'd in all the principles
That usher to destruction.
- Philip Massinger
What most of all enables a man to serve the public is not wealth, but content and independence; which, requiring no superfluity at home, distracts not the mind from the common good.
I look upon an able statesman out of business like a huge whale, that will endeavor to overturn the ship unless he has an empty cask to play with.
- Sir Richard Steele
An honest statesman to a prince,
Is like a cedar planted by a spring;
The spring bathes the tree's root, the grateful tree
Rewards it with his shadow.
- Daniel Webster
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